40+ Interesting Facts About Camels

  1. There are three living species of camels: dromedary (or Arabian) camel, Bactrian camel, and wild Bactrian camel.
  2. More than 90% population of camels is composed of dromedary camels. It is present mainly in the Middle East and North Africa region.
  3. There are 1,000 names for camels in the Arabic language. These names describe important features of various camel types. (Source)
  4. Dromedary is the largest camel species. It has a shoulder height of 1.8-2.1 m (6 ft.-6 ft. 10 in.) and weighs between 450 and 690 kg. (Source)
  5. Camel milk is healthier than cow’s milk. It is easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance. It has more Vitamin C and iron than cow’s milk. Camel’s milk also boosts immune system and fights several diseases. (Source)
  6. In Saudi Arabia, Bedouin tribes present roasted camels stuffed with sheep and other animals as a dish in the Arabic wedding feast. It is known as the world’s largest meal.
  7. Bactrian and wild Bactrian camels are present in Central Asia, Mongolia, and ChinaThe Bactrian camel is the largest mammal in its native range. The wild Bactrian is the only truly wild camel species in the world.
  8. In 1855, the USA purchased camels for $30,000 to set up Army Camel Corps after capturing desert and arid regions in the West. The experiment ended after the Civil War. (Source)
    Camels in a military caravan
    USA established a camel corps in 1855

  9. The most apparent difference between dromedary and Bactrian camels is the number of humps. Compared to a single hump in a dromedary camel, the other two species have two humps.  
  10. Llamas, alpacas, vicuna, and guanaco also belong to Camelids, the family of camels. Camels are the largest members of this family.
  11. In contrast to a common belief, camels do not store water in their hump, which is the storing place of fat. This hump plays its role when food is scarce. Camels can drink a large amount of water in one sitting and store the extra water in their bloodstream. (Source)
  12. The hump can store 80 pounds of fat in camels, which enables the animal to travel without food for several days. (Source)
  13. Most livestock loses 20 to 40 liters of water per day during summer. Comparatively, the rate of water evaporation in camels during the same temperature is just 1.3 liters of fluid daily.
  14. Even at 49 Celsius, camels rarely sweat. They can also withstand 25% of evaporation per body weight by sweating. Other animals can suffer cardiac failure after just 12-14% of dehydration.
  15. Special functions in the dromedary camel’s nostrils assist the animal in conserving water in a hot climate. These camels save more water than other animals with similar function. (Source)
  16. Camels can carry 170 to 270 kg of weight on their back while traveling in the desert. They can cover 25 miles a day with this load.
  17. Camels waste very little water during excretion and defecation as their kidneys and intestines reabsorb a large amount of water. It is the reason that they have very thick urine and dry feces.
  18. Camels can survive for months without water thanks to their sophisticated blood and circulatory system. The oval shape of red blood cells in camels assists during a water shortage. This shape provides a better flow of RBCs during dehydration. (Source)
  19. A thirsty camel can drink 32 gallons of water in just 13 minutes. They usually do not drink during winter, and fulfill their water needs by eating green plants. (Source)
  20. The kidneys of camels work uniquely to avoid dehydration. When facing scarcity of water, their kidneys increase the absorption of water by suppressing the production of cholesterol. (Source)
  21. Long eyelashes, ear hairs, and the ability to close nostrils protect camels against sand storms in deserts.
  22. Camels have three sets of eyelids. Two of these have eyelashes that protect eyes from sand. They use the 3rd one to clean off the eyes. Camels can see through from closed eyelids because they are thin. (Source)
  23. Camels have convenient feet according to their need in hot deserts. Wide toes and webbing underneath the feet keep them from sinking in the sand. Additionally, the thick sole and inner ball of fat protect the animal from hot desert sand. (Source)
  24. Camels have one of the longest gestation periods among animals. It is between 13 and 14 months or around 410 days. (Source)
  25. Camels can easily chew and eat cacti and other desert-dwelling thorny plants. They can do so by using their tough lips and cone-shaped papillae. (Source)
    A thorny desert plant
    Special lips and papillae help camels to eat thorny desert plants

  26. Angry camels may spit a greenish substance (undigested food) from the stomach. In self-defense, they can kick their opponent by using all four legs.
  27. MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) is a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. Dromedary camels are the major host for this virus and can transmit this deadly disease to humans. (Source)
  28. The fossil of a giant ancient camel has been discovered in Canada’s high Arctic. This fossil is 3.5 million years old.
  29. According to estimates, dromedary camels were first domesticated around 3000 B.C. in Somalia and southern Arabia. The initial domestication of Bactrian camels took place in Central Asia and Iran around 2500 B.C.
  30. Somalia has the highest number of domesticated camels, with a population of more than 7 million. The top 7 countries with the most domesticated camels are present in Africa. (Source)
  31. Australia imported camels from India and Palestine during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Now the country has the world’s biggest population of feral camels that resides in Australian Outback deserts.
  32. There are more than 1 million feral camels in Australia, doubling almost every decade. These camels are causing damage of $10 million each year to the Australian economy. (Source)
  33. Damages caused by these feral camels are so widespread that they are targeted in large numbers. Even aerial shooting has failed to reduce their numbers. (Source)
  34. Camels have thick leathery skin pads on their leg joints. These pads enable them to lay or kneel in the hot desert sand.
  35. Fatty humps in camels assist in the regulation of their body temperature on hot days and cool nights in deserts.
  36. Camel wrestling is a popular traditional sport in Turkey. It is held in several cities, including an annual Camel Wrestling League in Aegean Region and Mediterranean Basin.
  37. Camels are used as mobile libraries in remote villages of Kenya. The province that receives this service has a literacy rate of 85.3% compared to the national average of 31%. (Source)
  38. There is a legend of the Red Ghost in Arizona. A camel with a skeleton on its back killed several people in the 1880s. (Source) 
  39. Camels can run at a maximum speed of 40 mph (65 km/h). However, their average speed that they can maintain for a long distance is 25 mph (40 km/h). 
  40. Camels are social animals that live in groups known as herds. The leader of every herd is a dominant male camel. Bachelor camels have separate groups.  
  41. Camel’s thick coat is useful in hot and cold environments. It reflects the sun during the daytime, and assists in insulation at night.
  42. Camels can live for more than 40 years. Dromedary camels usually live longer than Bactrian camels. 
  43. Camels make several sounds such as moaning, groaning, humming, rumbling roars, etc. They also communicate by changing positions of several body parts (tails, ears, neck, and head).

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